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Pritzker to critics of emergency rule: Defying IDPH rules was already a misdemeanor

IDPH: 59 more COVID-19 deaths, 2,294 new confirmed cases

Gov. JB Pritzker faced criticism over the weekend for a new emergency rule that could lead to a Class A misdemeanor for Illinois businesses that disregard the governor’s stay-at-home order and reopen.

During his daily coronavirus briefing Monday, Pritzker pointed out that defying an Illinois Department of Public Health Act rule always has been a Class A misdemeanor. He said the emergency rule is simply another “tool” for local law enforcement.

“That’s the existing law today, in fact, last week and last year,” Pritzker said. “Under that existing law, law enforcement can issue a citation to the business. … This additional enforcement tool causes less harm to a business than a total shutdown or loss of a license, but gives local law enforcement the ability to do their jobs.”

The rule can only affect businesses and not individuals. Pritzker said no citations were given over the weekend. Numerous county sheriff’s offices in the state have said they will not enforce the stay-at-home order, and the emergency rule was blasted by Republican lawmakers over the weekend.

Data breach: The governor said the state is “doing a full investigation” into what caused private data to be released from the Illinois Department of Employment Security’s unemployment website over the weekend.

He said the total number of people affected is unknown.

“It’s important that we identify all of those who were affected,” Pritzker said.

Deloitte, which built the online system, is offering credit monitoring for those affected, the governor said.

Pritzker profiting? Pritzker said Monday that he hasn’t been involved in his company, Pritzker Group Venture Capital, since running for governor.

The Pritzker Group owns a number of companies that are producing COVID-19 tests, including PathGroup and Cue Health. On Monday, he was asked if he’s profiting from testing.

“Three years ago, when I decided to run for governor, I put all assets in blind trust form, and they continue to be in that form,” Pritzker said. “I’m not involved, I really don’t even know the engagement of those businesses in anything that has to do with this. I’m really three years from having had any knowledge about any of those.”

Apply to be a contact tracer: IDPH on Sunday revealed a new web page where people can apply to become a contact tracer for the state. Illinois expects to need as many as 3,800 contact tracers for the program. An application is available at www.dph.illinois.gov/covid19.

State update: Illinois announced 59 more deaths from COVID-19 and an additional 2,294 confirmed cases throughout the state Monday, according to the IDPH.

The state has a seven-day rolling positivity rate of 14%. Illinois has now seen 96,485 cases of the virus, and 4,234 people have died since the pandemic began. A total of 603,241 people have been tested.

As of late Sunday, Illinois had 4,120 COVID-19 patients in the hospital. It marks six consecutive days of decreased hospitalizations. Of those hospitalized, 1,096 were in intensive care units, and 636 were on ventilators.

All four regions of the Restore Illinois plan remain on pace to move to Phase 3 on May 29.

Regional update: As of Friday, the Northeast region (Cook, DuPage, Grundy, Kane, Kankakee, Kendall, McHenry, Lake and Will counties) had a positivity rate average of 17.9%. The region also had an average of 17.3% of medical/surgical beds available, 19% of ICU beds available and 61.7% of ventilators available.

The North Central region (Bureau, DeKalb, La Salle, Lee, Ogle, Whiteside, Carroll, Boone, Winnebago, Stephenson, Putnam and Jo Daviess counties) had a positivity rate average of 7%. On average, there was an availability of 41.8% of medical/surgical beds, 44.8% of ICU beds and 62.3% of ventilators.

The Central region had an average positivity rate of 3.9%. On average, there was an availability of 49.8% of medical/surgical beds, 50.9% of ICU beds and 82.2% of ventilators.

The Southern region had an average positivity rate of 5.8%. On average, there was an availability of 45.9% of medical/surgical beds, 32.5% of ICU beds and 78.4% of ventilators.

Threshold for next phase: In addition to having testing available for patients, health care workers, first responders, people with underlying conditions, and residents and staff in congregate living facilities, and contact tracing and monitoring in place 24 hours after diagnosis, regions must hit the following thresholds to move on to the next phase in the Restore Illinois plan:

• At or less than a 20% positive rate and increasing no more than 10 percentage points over a 14-day period

• No overall increase (i.e., stability or decrease) in hospital admissions for COVID-19-like illness for 28 days

• Available surge capacity of at least 14% of ICU beds, medical and surgical beds, and ventilators.

Newly reported deaths:

• Coles County: 1 female 90s

• Cook County: 3 males 40s, 2 females 50s, 3 males 50s, 4 females 60s, 7 males 60s, 4 females 70s, 8 males 70s, 1 unknown 70s, 1 female 80s, 10 males 80s, 1 unknown 80s, 2 females 90s, 3 males 90s, 1 unknown 90s

• DuPage County: 1 female 50s, 1 female 80s

• Kane County: 1 male 80s

• Kendall County: 1 female 90s

• St. Clair County: 1 male 70s

• Will County: 1 male 50s

• Winnebago County: 1 female 90s, 1 male 90s